At times during the Menagerie Elizabeth Heaton’s voice could be as fragile as stained glass, as despaired and pain stricken as a grieving widow and as widely poetic as a vocal savant. Yet there is great storytelling in her depressed lungs. Her exhales could wrap your heart and throat into a knot of pain, awe or pleasure. The band is a combination of acid rock fusion, gothic elements, classic piano, and strings with an early 80’s touch. Working Heaton’s emotion soaked vocals through the guitars and piano of Rowan Burn, drums and piano of Steven Pellatt and bass of Chris Holland took the Midas touch but it worked. Though they sound like a mixture of heavy rock meets Duran Duran and The Cure at times, the music is challenged and enhanced by Heaton’s changing vocal moods and delivery. Tori Amos meets Siouxsie, with an Evanescence allure as Sinead O’Connor, Natalie Merchant, Siobhan Fahey (Shakespeares Sister) and a touch of the Cranberries are all on call at the mic.
UK based Midas Fall brings an elegant melancholy to coffee house music, making any café feel like it’s on a coastal mourning shore. Her voice carries the mystery and myth of the lady of the lake and the alluring but forbidden song of the sirens casting ghostly, supernatural imagery in the listeners mind.
“Afterthought’s” vocals reminisce, with wails that cry and drop to soft murmurs as she offers her sea of pain with waves of cracked addictive emotion.
“Circus Performer” gives a cold chill down the spine like hearing a memory from a distant echo. It’s lonely at the top, clinging to a metal ring as you spin out of control, hoping your teeth hold.
“Counting Colors” classical strings play a sorrowful melancholy. Despair hits with a heart piercing breath. Gothic landscapes are painted with wet watercolors dripping with absinthe as violins and bass go deep and grandiose playing the end tale of a massive event, surveying the scene where great sacrifices were made and/or tragedy befell.
“The Morning asked and I said No” is atmospheric, more subdued and calm but moody with a dark serene, serenity to the pace and pitch.
Her voice whispers on “Half a mile Outside,” over the candle flame as haunting specters genuflect to her cadence. Torches burn in the castle windows at dusk as her voice flows over the moor with the spirit of a lost soul or ghost walking the lonely shores looking for their lost love.
Heaton could enchant the soul right out of the body into her private ocean of experiences. You may not have lived it, but you’ll feel what she went through. Gaze at your shoes all you want, you’ll eventually succumb to the shimmering light bouncing off the waves, as memories are swept out to sea then crashed to shore broken and shattered.
Originally from Edinburgh, Scotland now located in Northern England. Starting in 2009 they have had an accomplished history so far, offering their debut Eleven. Return And Revert the following year. In 2012 they performed at Switzerland’s Deadline Festival and were headliners in London and Budapest with sold out shows in Athens, Sofia, Glasgow and Manchester. To date they have also offered the public the As Our Blood Separates EP, the full length Wilderness and the Fluorescent Lights EP.
The Menagerie Inside will be released on CD, digital download and limited edition vinyl worldwide September 4th. Preorder’s can be found here.